As someone who has worked and traveled in Thailand, I know firsthand how treacherous Thai roads can be. I’ve had quite a few brushes with death, whether weaving in and out of traffic on the back of a motorbike taxi, wheeling along in a three-wheeled tuk-tuk, or taking a roller coaster ride in one of the many speeding Toyota Camry taxis that roam the country. With this in mind, I look at a recent crash in Thailand with both empathy and awe. Somehow, a couple in Thailand miraculously survived a 10-meter plunge of their Toyota pickup truck from an expressway.
Thai couple delivering lamyai fruit survived the truck crash with only minor injuries
According to the Bangkok Post, Somchai Traiprom, 32, drove his Toyota pickup truck, with his wife Renu Chumjangreed, 42, on an expressway in Muang district on September 29. They were delivering baskets of lamyai fruit, or “dragon eyes,” named for its resemblance to an eyeball after you peel away the outer layer. It’s not known what type of Toyota truck the couple drove, but it likely is the Toyota Hilux, the most popular truck in Thailand.
Somchai Traiprom told police that he ran into congested traffic and then tried to find another route using the GPS on his mobile phone. The alternate route that the GPS provided required Triprom to make a sharp maneuver around a bend in the road. He then lost control of the truck, smashed into a barrier wall, and plunged onto the road below the expressway.
Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene of the accident and found the overturned Toyota truck. There were baskets of the lamyai fruit strewn all over the road. Traiprom and Chumjangreed survived the crash with only minor injuries.
Driver believes that their Buddhist amulet and statue helped them survive the crash
Traipom believes that he and his wife survived the crash because a Buddhist amulet and statue protected them. It was an amulet and statue of Luang Pu Thuad, a Buddhist monk that lived in Thailand around 400 years ago. Buddhist amulets are hugely popular in Thailand. People wear them around their necks and hang them in their cars, believing that the amulets can protect them from harm, including traffic deaths.
Amulets of Luang Pu Thuad are especially cherished. Many people in Southern Thailand revere Luang Pu Thuad. During his time, he is said to have performed miracles and lived to the ripe old age of 130 years. Traipom had a statue of the Luang Pu Thuad in his truck, while his wife had an amulet of the monk.
Thailand is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive
Often when I travel to other countries, people express concern about crime or political instability. However, the chances of getting hurt from these things are minimal. The peacefulness of the Thai people makes it a very relaxing and comfortable country to visit. However, the one thing that does concern me about travel to Thailand is the dangerous driving conditions. In many places, it’s a driving free-for-all, with minimal enforcement of traffic laws.
Thailand is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive. According to a study by the World Health Organization, Thailand ranks second behind Libya for road accident deaths, at a rate of 36.2 deaths/100,000 people.